Week 3: Are You Up For The ‘Eat Well Challenge’?

by Simona Terron

We’re into another great week of the American Heart Month, and we’re all charged up about eating healthier while keeping our tickers in mind when we make dietary choices. And if you’re keen to snag that prize sponsored by the American Heart Association, here’s your groovy heart-healthy meal plan for this week. All you have to do is choose one meal every day to dedicate to this goal, keeping it heart healthy whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, a beverage or dessert.

Ready to be a winner? Let’s get started with your heart-healthy meal plan:

Monday
Breakfast
Bulgur Porridge
Why: Also known as cracked wheat, bulgur is packed with fiber and protein but is super low in calories. Thanks to being precooked, it makes for a quick option when you want to get started on your day and it tastes just as good whether eaten sweet or savory. As a breakfast dish, this porridge will keep you going all the way till lunchtime on a high energy rush.

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Tuesday
Lunch
Black Cod With Lemon-Olive Vinaigrette
Why: Fish is delicious and light, which is always a nice combination in the middle of a workday. Dine on this cod in style by dressing it up in lemon-olive vinaigrette, which lends it a wee bit more heart-healthiness. Pairing it with olives and capers is a wonderful idea as both are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Plus their briny flavor always perks up any palate.

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Wednesday
Dinner
Tom Yum Goong
Why: Seafood is already so complex and flavorful on its own. When combined with soul-soothing chicken stock, skinny glass noodles and of course, ingredients like Thai chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro, it turns into a dish that can make a greatly satisfying dinner without leaving you feeling like you swallowed a cow. The American Heart Association recommends seafood at least twice a week as a good source of protein.

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Thursday
Snack
Avocado Veggie Wrap
Why: Yes, there are plenty of studies proving that avocado consumption reduces blood cholesterol and triglycerides significantly while increasing HDL or good cholesterol. But they’re so good to eat, with their buttery smoothness enhancing even the most boring of vegetable wraps. Spread their vivid green goodness on any pedestrian base such as toast or crackers for a quick nibble if this wrap feels like too much work. It’ll still be a good, healthy snack and a rather quick one too.

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Friday
Beverage
Hibiscus-Licorice Drink
Why: This flower-infusion has a surprising and cheerful hue, which makes for a pretty drink but can stain your clothes and table linen rather deeply, if you’re not careful. It’s wonderful for your heart though as it lowers cholesterol and relieves blood pressure issues easily. Tangy and refreshing, when paired with licorice, it can be addictive in the nicest way possible.

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Saturday
Dessert
Fruit Compote With Coconut
Why: Fresh fruit like cantaloupes, strawberries, and kiwi are all rich in antioxidants but when paired together can be a veritable smorgasbord of rich colors, flavors, and textures. Give yourself permission to pig out thanks to their vitamin content and if you still needed to make it more decadent, go ahead and add crystallized ginger and toasted coconut flakes.

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Images: Shutterstock

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